If you are planning to sell your house this Spring, then you need to get started now. Don’t wait! You are planning for a marathon, not a sprint. As the snow melts, new house listings in your neighbourhood will pop up like daffodils and tulips. They are your competition, so you want your house to stand out from the rest.

Call your agent now. Real Estate professionals also get busy with the Spring market, so beat the rush and get an unhurried house evaluation and a chance to discuss the selling process and what you will need to do to prepare your house for market. I am happy to meet with you to discuss your timeline and individual needs.

Inspect Mechanical Systems. If you do not have regular annual maintenance on your heating and air-conditioning systems, now is the time to call for a check-up. Change the air filters. If service or repairs are required, the service technicians are less likely to be busy before the weather changes. Scheduling replacements will be less stressful and likely less expensive than waiting for them to be discovered during a buyer’s home inspection.

Home Improvement Projects. Incomplete or never started. Take a look around your home. Try to see it through strangers’ eyes. Missing or damaged millwork? Caulking in showers that need replacing? You may want to tackle rooms with extremely personal choices in paint colour or wallpaper with a few gallons of neutral paint. Either do it yourself or call in a professional. You’d be amazed what a professional can do in just a few days while you are at work.

Declutter. Pack away items that may distract from showings or might pose a danger of theft. Things will need to be packed and moved anyway, you may as well get a head start. It’s a good time to decide to call a favourite friend or relative with the good news that you are gifting them that piece of furniture or artwork they always admired, especially if space will be more limited in your new residence. Some of my most treasured pieces have been passed on in a similar way. Don’t forget your closets. If they are overflowing, it might suggest storage is lacking in your home. De-clutter doesn’t mean just moving things around. Don’t pack it all in the garage, rent a storage unit and move it off-site. You want prospective buyers to see how much space you really have.

CleanAs the listing date approaches, your house should shine because it is so clean. That includes the windows, inside and out. What a difference a clean window makes in terms of light coming in and the view that is now easily seen. As you approach the time when showings will commence, consider hiring professional cleaning staff.

– Chip Barkel, MCNE, SRES, REDM, Toronto Real Estate. Extraordinary Service. Top Results.